Healthcare assistants in general practice : a qualitative study of their experiences
Vail, Laura, Bosley, Sara, Petrova, Mila and Dale, Jeremy. (2011) Healthcare assistants in general practice : a qualitative study of their experiences. Primary Health Care Research & Development, Vol.12 (No.1). pp. 29-41. ISSN 1463-4236Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1463423610000204
Aim To explore the experiences of healthcare assistants (HCAs) working in general practice (GP).
Background HCAs increasingly play an important role in UK GP teams. The role is relatively new and little is known about how HCAs feel about their work in GP, and the challenges that they face.
Methods Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 14 HCAs from two Primary Care Trusts in the West Midlands, United Kingdom. Transcriptions were analysed using the framework analysis approach.
Findings Overall, HCAs reported that they enjoyed their work, and particularly appreciated the patient contact and positive feedback gained. Attitudes to the role were affected by previous position, experience, and length of time working within the practice. The HCAs felt accepted and supported by GP team members and valued the support they were receiving. Key sources of frustration included the poor salary, the lack of initial clarity with regard to role definition, and the constraints of their scope of practice. Role boundaries between HCAs and practice nurses were experienced as well defined, and no perceptions of role ambiguity were reported. HCAs considered their work to be of relatively low status, with its main purpose being to ease the practice nurse’s workload. Although many had the desire to train as nurses, few saw it as a realistic possibility.
Conclusions Although HCAs appear to be satisfied overall, the elements of dissatisfaction relate to status, pay, and career progression, which may limit the retention of individuals in this role. Practices should consider the importance of recognising and valuing the work of HCAs and of providing protected time and resources for mentorship and career progression.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RT Nursing
|Divisions:||Faculty of Medicine > Warwick Medical School > Health Sciences
Faculty of Medicine > Warwick Medical School
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Family medicine, Allied health personnel, Medical personnel, Health care teams, Nurses' aides, Qualitative research|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Primary Health Care Research & Development|
|Publisher:||Cambridge University Press|
|Page Range:||pp. 29-41|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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